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Millions for a walking trail?

CAROL EBERHARD

Jersey Shore

I got so mad reading The Express article about the $2.1 million grant from PenmDOT for the Bald Eagle Valley walking-biking trail in Clinton County.

County Commissioner Miles Kessinger stated he was so thankful because, “We just don’t have that kind of money laying around.”

Obviously, PennDOT does.

They have the money because the Legislature enacted what is now a 58.7-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline to repair our roads and bridges.

Remember, we were listed as the second worst state for deficient bridges.

Our roads were so bad that we needed that tax increase, they said.

Well, it turns out some of that money was siphoned off to pay overtime for state police, and now we see it also goes to projects like these.

Once these taxes are imposed they never come off.

As far as I know, Pennsylvanians are still paying for the tax for the Johnstown flood over 70 years later.

That 58.7-cent tax hurts the working poor the hardest. So many people in Clinton County are scraping by in low wage jobs.

Clinton County is 64th out of 67 counties in income in this state.

Many commute for hours to get a job. The county and state believe that a walking trail is the solution for this dismal statistic?

Even if it brings in tourist money, I am dubious it will bring in as much as it costs.

The jobs that it will bring in are service jobs, the lowest paid kind of jobs.

This $2.1 million is for Phase 4. How much is this entire project actually costing?

We in the community set up clothing drives and food banks and better ways to help our poor when we should be questioning where our tax dollars are being spent instead.

How much easier would it be for the poor if 58.7-cents a gallon was taken off their gas prices?

I bet they could afford some groceries if they weren’t being taxed so much.

If PennDOT is doing this in Clinton County, I ponder how much money is being thrown around in all the other 66 counties for I consider to be worthless, non-road endeavors.

Playgrounds, streetscapes and walking trails are great if we have food on the table, safe roads and bridges, but we don’t.

In the meantime, every time a contract comes up for the workers in our state, they scream about wages and retirements, not these excessive endeavors.

I think an audit is called for to find out how much of PennDOT’s money is actually spent on road projects.

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